A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

The Burlington Downtown Business Association has won the Community Spirit Award from Yellow Pages Group for its recent participation in the Shop the Neighbourhood Campaign. As the council representative on the board of the BDBA, I couldn’t be more proud of the entire team that pulled this together and the community members who made it …

Downtown wins $10,000 award for community spirit Read More »

Free parking continues every Saturday in 2014 in downtown Burlington. On-street parking has also been extended from two hours maximum, to three hours. There is no maximum time in the lots. So if you visit on a Saturday for more than three hours, please use a lot. Also, if you work downtown and park all …

Free parking Saturdays downtown; review of program Read More »

The Ontario Municipal Board has given the green light for Branthaven’s proposed 58-unit townhome project on Ghent Ave. to proceed. The project replaces single family homes on eight assembled lots, and reduces greenspace from roughly 70% down to 30%. Local resident Dr. Emil Sekerinski, whose home backs onto the development site, had appealed the project …

OMB rules in favour of Branthaven townhouse project on Ghent Read More »

Update from Burlington Hydro: Last night all of the lines on main streets in North Burlington were restored with the exception of a small piece of the valley on Cedar Springs Road. Last evening’s repairs in the Cedar Springs Community have provided the permanent residents in that locale with power. However, extensive tree trimming will …

Storm Update: 1:30pm Dec. 28 Read More »

Power may be out 36-72 hours As a result of the ice storm, downed trees and hydro lines, power may be out in parts of Burlington for 36-72 hours. An Emergency Operations Centre has been set up at City Hall to handle the duration of this situation. I’m onsite and will provide regular updates on, …

Storm Alert: Power may be out 36-72 hrs in places Read More »

The city has received a liquor license application for 2049 Pine Street. Residents can provide comments until Dec. 22.

The Burlington Community Foundation is accepting applications from charitable organizations seeking funding support for important projects and initiatives. The applications are due on Monday, December 2 at midnight. Detailed information on funding criteria, eligibility and the application form are found on the website here.. Please feel free to share this information throughout the community. Contact …

Grant applications due Dec. 2 to Burlington Community Foundation Read More »

City council this week approved a staff recommendation to ban smoking in all city parks and recreation facilities excluding designated areas at LaSalle Park Pavilion, Discovery Landing, Paletta Mansion and Tyandaga Golf Course. The changes will take effect April 1 2014. Meanwhile, the province has recently announced legislation to restrict smoking on patios and parks, among other changes.

A four-day Ontario Municipal Board hearing of the 58-townhome project by Branthaven on Ghent Ave has wrapped up after one day of testimony. Both the rezoning, to permit the townhomes, and the site plan of the project, are in front of the board for a decision. Residents had requested a number of conditions be put on site plan approval, covering groundwater monitoring, construction staging and landscaping. I brought a motion covering several of these items to committee and council, which was approved. A decision on both the rezoning issue and the site plan is expected within 4-8 weeks.

Five hour on-street parking and overnight parking year-round in city lots downtown are among the changes to city parking being proposed by city staff. If approved, the changes would take effect in April 2014. The proposals will be discussed at the Development & Infrastructure Committee Dec. 2, 6:30pm, City Hall.

The cost of upgrading and burying hydro wires for new development projects in the downtown continues to be a work in progress. The city’s current policy is for developers to pay 100% of the costs, although that policy is under review at the request of developers.

As part of the approval of the 6-8-story office/medical, 6-8 storey parking garage and 17 storey condo complex at Caroline/John/Elizabeth/Maria, Carriage Gate agreed to upgrade the hydro capacity and bury the hydro wires. These agreements will be captured in a zoning condition, to be signed by the end of the year.

City staff have reviewed and support (with modifications) several conditions requested by residents on the site plan for the Branthaven townhome project on Ghent related to groundwater monitoring, construction staging and border vegetation. With council’s approval, staff would bring these conditions to the Ontario Municipal Board hearing Nov. 26. The OMB will ultimately decide on the project, including site plan.

Friends of Freeman Station, the volunteer citizens group that is leading efforts to restore and reopen the historic Burlington train station, are seeking donations (cash, goods or services) to build the basement under the station (estimated at $30,000). Eligible for charitable tax receipt.

Santa Clause parade returns Sun. Dec 1 2-4pm. Route begins near the Burlington Mall at Prospect Street & Guelph Line, marches along Guelph Line to New Street, travels west along New Street to James Street, then north on Brant Street to Caroline. Road closures are in effect from 11am-4:30pm on various streets along the route.

The Burlington Lions Club/Reach Out Centre for Kids at Pearl & James are doing construction work now till 2015: they are repairing walkways and patio areas; they will also be seeking a minor variance to convert a current asphalt covered loading/unloading zone to five parking spaces, and add an additional four spaces. No trees will be removed, and none of the proposed changes will affect the children’s climbing equipment or swings in the park area along Pearl Street, or the area of the soccer pitch. Residents within 60m of the site will receive notice of the date of the Committee of Adjustment hearing. Anyone can attend the hearing and provide feedback.

New Street from Martha Street to Guelph Line is scheduled for resurfacing in 2015, which provides an opportunity to enhance cycling, for example adding bike lanes or painted “sharrows.” City Transportation staff and I will be hosting a community workshop Dec. 5 to to get your feedback on several options to enhance cycling here. You can also provide your feedback by phone or email by Jan. 6.

The city has won the first round in a legal battle to ensure the Burlington Airpark complies with local regulations that don’t infringe on aeronautics matters governed by federal law. A judge has ruled the city’s site alteration bylaw is valid and binding on the Airpark and the city is entitled to its legal costs.

Enjoy complimentary parking on the street, and in all Municipal lots, in downtown Burlington starting November 30th (Shop the Neighbourhood Day) and continuing everyday for the entire month of December!